All of my 365 t-shirts from 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

T-shirt #25: HELLO, my name is TROUBLE

Going along with the Alcatraz theme, this shirt makes me think of some of the run-ins I have had with the law over the years…

My first was when I had just learned how to ride a bike. I was so proud, turning and twisting and making figure eights in the street. I enjoyed it so much, I wasn’t really paying attention to see if any vehicles might be coming my way. One did, and it was a police cruiser. He pulled over, gave me a very stern “Son, you need to be more careful and pay attention” routine, and I ran inside crying. When my mother asked me what was wrong, I knew I couldn’t tell her I had just been yelled at by a policeman. I quickly blurted out that I had been stung by a bee, and while my mother tried looking for a stinger, the cop showed up at our door. He apologetically said he didn’t mean to scare me, but wanted to make sure I was being safe. Even thought I was caught in my lie, my mom was just glad I was okay.

Years later, I was driving home from a Red Sox game with my brother Tom. We were driving down Main Street in The ‘Boro (a.k.a. Westborough, Westboro, birthplace of Eli Whitney), and coming up on the police station. I noticed a cruiser signaling to turn into the station, but not in time to stop and let him in. I’m guessing this upset him, because right after I took a left onto Ruggles Street, he was behind me flashing his lights. He came up to my car and without even a hello asked “Do you know why I pulled you over?” I really had no idea other than not letting him turn into the station, but he said “You were going 35 in a 30 mile per hour zone. Do you know what that means?” I wanted to say it meant I didn’t get a ticket, but I bit my lip. He continued, “You have a passenger with no buckle on and his feet out the window!” When someone gets this upset, my usual reply is just to say “I’m sorry”, and I did. He came back with a “I’m not the one you should be apologizing to!” At this point, he had given me no other options but to subtly yell back, so I turned to my brother and said, “I’m sorry.” He continued his tirade about “seeing this car always speeding by” and “you better slow down”, and I bit my lip more and nodded my head. After he had blown off enough steam, he let me go without even a written warning. My brother Tom and I just laughed and shook our heads.

When I was living in Waltham, I finished writing my first screenplay. I couldn’t believe when I went to go print it that I didn’t have enough paper. I rushed out to CVS, got the paper, and on the way home forgot the “No Turn on Red” sign going from Main Street to Moody Street. There was no denying what I had done to the officer that pulled me over, but I was honest with him. I told him I had just finished my screenplay and couldn’t wait to go home and print it. He asked me if there were any police officer parts in the play, and I told him in fact, there were a few that involved the Boston College Police. He laughed, wished me well on my writing career, and let me go with a warning.

More law/police stories to come…

Dave “Trouble” McGrath

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